Thursday, December 3, 2015

post estrangement: I thought of you today

I thought of my estranged daughter yesterday and realized I really don't think about her much anymore.  What I do think about is how her actions and her choices have affected my life. And continue to affect my life as I reassemble the broken bits into a new and cohesive whole.  That is what my healing journey is about. 

Strange as it seems, I feel separated from her the person, even though I am still very much aware of the separation itself and the changes it has meant in my life.

I no longer miss her “the person”, I don’t even really know who that person is anymore.  She is not the child I raised; nor is she the young woman I knew.  She is not the friend I thought her to be, nor the adult daughter and companion I expected her to become.  Who she is now is a stranger to me.  What I really miss is the dream of what I thought we would share.

So now I find myself at that crossroads of creating new dreams based on the reality of what is.

Learning to love who I have become because of what she  has put me through has forced me to come to understand the many wonderful aspects of my personality, to realize that in spite of all the trauma I am still a very much a good person, a little sadder, a little wiser, but filled with compassion and love.  With all her anger toward me, with all her spiteful actions, she could not take that essential goodness away from me.
  • I survived the intense anger I felt toward her. 
  • I mastered the desire for revenge and retaliation.
  • I have even found a way to open my heart to forgiving her for the choices she made.
  • I have become more compassionate and understanding of others in pain and even have room in my heart to feel compassion for the pain she is in, for deep down, she cannot be a happy person to know she is the root cause of so much hurting to not only myself, but to our whole family.
  • I have become more guarded in offering my love, but I can love again and even for her I have a different kind of love, a love that gives wings of hope that she may find that which see seeks, for she sacrificed much to achieve that separate space from which to pursue her dream, her autonomy, her future.  

No, my darling daughter, who I cared for and loved and nurtured all those years, is not in my life, she is barely present in my thoughts anymore, time does in fact create a veil, a curtain, between the past and the now.

Healing has forced me to compartmentalize and separate myself from what is un-achievable. To accept that which isn’t; and instead enable myself to focus on what actually is.

  • In coming through this traumatic chapter in my life I have passed a life test.  I emerged a sadder version of who I was before.
  • I am more aware of all the tragic possibilities of life, and that best laid intentions can all too easily go astray.
  • I have learned to humbly accept that which I cannot change, knowing that even the loudest and most persistent ranting can’t undo what has been done.
  • I am learning what it means to embrace beliefs and qualities and values that represent the person I want to be and that I don’t have to let events make me bitter.
  • I am learning that even with a broken heart and spirit, I can present to the world all those qualities I value; that no one’s disparaging words or actions can change the basic goodness of my nature.
  • I am learning that it is possible to live with a shadow memory and dreams unfulfilled, that wounded and scared does not mean an ending but rather a just a very different beginning.

I thought of you today, my estranged daughter, love of my womb, and realized I missed what might have been but I am learning to live with what is.  Not a fairy tale ending for sure, nor a happily ever after.  But there is an after and for that I am grateful.

Renate Dundys Marrello
2015 – 12 – 03

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  1. I thought of my estranged daughter today also. I even was strong enough to leave her a get well message. She called back a few hours later. Listened to what's new in her life and then I proceeded to tell her that I miss and love her. She replied in kind, but reminded me of why I "stress" her out and that rather than hate or not speak to family not talking to me was better. You see, she had a "miscarriage" while she was visiting us and it's my fault because we had a quarrel. You might noticed that I wrote the word with quotation marks, because is not sure she did. Not even the Doctors can prove she did. And, that's how our relationship will continue. I feel hurt, but no longer angry. I am sadder, but not suicidal. I am who God made me to be. Thank you so much for your postings. They truly are a light in my confused darkness.

  2. I wept as I read this. This is my very own story, and it's as if these words were taken straight from my own heart. I don't if I can reach the same point of resolve that you have, dear Renate. I know that others, like me, have made this aching journey to acceptance and forgiveness, but my pain is so deep, I'm just not there yet. You give me hope and inspiration that someday the pain and betrayal will be abated. Thank you for your words of encouragement, and a glimpse of hope.

    1. <3 my heart weeps for you Elizabeth, I too am in the same place with 2 of my 3 children. God bless you and heal your wounds - give you inner strength esp through this season.

  3. Thank you .... thank you. 2 of my 3 children have chosen to be estranged. I have a grandchild that I have never met - he would be 5 this year. I cried through your article here,,,, but its good because it also reaffirmed to me who I now am, and how far I've come. Acceptance is power... and it is very freeing. God bless you my friend.

  4. Thx for these comments today, I'm sorry about your situation- it is very similar to mine. Some of your thoughts and feelings are what I feel......I have emerged as a sadder version of myself.....hugs to you and those reading this blog

  5. I too cried thru it. I know I'll never be the same but I am OK with that. I also have got thru the worst six years of my life. I'll wipe away my tears and move on with the day.

  6. Renate, Your words , thoughts & situation resonate clearly. Accepting our tragedy is most challenging & stifling. The unreal is reality. Keeping prayers for all alienated parents, grandparents & children. Healing Hugs.

  7. Thank you for the words I could not find.....

  8. My 3 grown children declared me dead to them a yr ago. They don't let me talk to the kids, but if I don't send xmas gifts, all hell will break loose. I love my granddaughters but they are old enough to call, which they don't. I don't know what to do, as this is breaking my heart!

  9. Thank you for expressing the feelings that I feel as well. But can someone please tell me when I should stop trying? After sending messages that go unanswered and experiencing the heartbreaking pain I feel again and again, I am wondering should I cling onto the hope that my daughter will finally come around or should I just move on?

  10. Your articles are amazing and are what has made me finally understand I can no longer blame myself....that I'm not alone as there are alot more mothers going thru the hurts & betrayals as I am. I take great advice from your articles and having a 2 year old grand-daughter that I can't or not allowed to build memories with is the most heartbreaking of all.

  11. Thank you everyone for you comments of validation!